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Metro initial unemployment insurance claims drop 15.5 percent
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ATLANTA – State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said that 2,279 laid-off workers in metro Savannah filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in January, a decrease of 418, or 15.5 percent, from 2,697 in December. Most of the decrease in claims came in accommodation and food services and manufacturing. And, there was a decline of 143, or 5.9 percent, from 2,422 claims filed in January 2010.

Of the 14 major metropolitan areas in the state, only Columbus, Rome, and Savannah reported decreases in initial claims filed from December to January, however 12 of the 14 showed over-the-year decreases.

Statewide, 89,659 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in January, an increase of 14,024, or 18.5 percent, from 75,635 filed in December. But, there was a decline of 5,605, or 5.9 percent, from 95,264 filed in January 2010.

Much of the over-the-month increase in statewide claims occurred in manufacturing, construction, administrative and support services, and trade.

“Most of these were seasonal layoffs that occur each year,” said Butler. “However, I am concerned that the number of long-term unemployed Georgians continues to increase. This is a sure sign that the state’s job market remains soft.”

There were 262,700 long-term unemployed Georgians in January (those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer). This represents an increase of 84,100, or 47.1 percent, from 178,600 in January 2010.